Why do the tops of my cupcakes (the part that rose above the liner) separate from the bottom sometimes? Too much batter?
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HalfPint is a trusted home cook.
A number of things :
- batter was not adequately mixed.
- uneven heat in the oven, there could be a hotspot in oven.
Shuna is a pastry chef in New York City and author of the acclaimed blog Eggbeater.
This question is quizzical. Are you pulling on the tops of the cakes to get the cupcakes out of the baking vessel? Is the cake that's overflowed sticking to the pan outside of the liner?
Make sure to release the cake completely, and use an offset utensil to lift the cupcake from the bottom so as not to decapitate it. If you want the batter to just mound at the top of the paper liner, then yes - put in less batter. You might be over creaming the batter so it's "too aerated" or has too much baking powder/soda in it so it's "jumping" too much in the oven. Is your oven convection? Try a few different batters and fill the liner less. Let us know which fix helped.
Hi Shuna - It must just be the amount of batter I am putting into the tins because the tops of the cupcakes do overflow a bit onto the top of the pan, though I wouldn't say they stuck. A little swirl of a toothpick around the edge seems to free them easily from the pans. This particular cake does not involve creaming (it uses oil and hot water like a boxed mix would) and only has a 1/2 t baking soda for 12-ish cupcakes. I have a conventional oven, too. It's not as if the tops come off every cupcake; just that if you try and undo the liners, sometimes it seems that the top of the cupcake wants to separate, as well. I don't have this problem every time I bake, but I have noticed it with this particular chocolate cake and my red velvet cake. Could the cocoa powder (I'm using natural) have anything to do with it? I find these two cakes to be very airy, as well. I wonder if the very light, fluffy crumb these recipes produce simply make the cupcakes more prone to breakage.
When you mentioned over-creaming - I was always taught to cream the butter and sugar together for 3 - 5 minutes until it was light and fluffy and not so grainy. Is that the correct amount of time?